Software & Apps News - Page 3

The latest and most important Software & Apps news - Page 3.

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Microsoft is about to reveal how AI PCs will make Windows stickier

Jak Connor | May 20, 2024 6:04 AM CDT

Microsoft is preparing to announce one of, if not the biggest change to Windows in its existence, which is the inclusion of artificial intelligence-powered tools.

Microsoft is about to reveal how AI PCs will make Windows stickier

The company is set to showcase its latest integrations of AI into PCs at the Build developers conference on Tuesday. According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who said in January 2024, AI will become the "first-class part of every PC". That shift has already begun with the inclusion of Copilot chatbot assistant in Microsoft's Bing search engine, and direct integration into Windows 11.

What users can expect out of tomorrow's conference is Microsoft explaining how AI will become fully integrated into Windows, specifically Windows 11, and what users will be able to do on the next generation of AI PCs. More specifically, AI PCs will have a two-purpose goal: increase the number of PC sales and maintain Microsoft's position in the AI industry via AI being rolled out to millions of Windows users.

Continue reading: Microsoft is about to reveal how AI PCs will make Windows stickier (full post)

Windows XP machine connected to the internet in 2024 becomes compromised in minutes

Kosta Andreadis | May 20, 2024 3:01 AM CDT

What would happen if you installed Windows XP in 2024, set the internet connection to be fully open without any firewalls or anti-virus software, and just let the computer sit there idling? If you answered, malware and hackers would obtain full access to the file system and admin privileges in minutes - then you'd be on the right track.

Windows XP machine connected to the internet in 2024 becomes compromised in minutes

YouTuber Eric Parker decided to run an experiment to see how dangerous running Windows XP in 2024 is, and the results were alarming. Without browsing, downloading, or opening suspicious files, the PC (a virtual installation) was almost immediately infected by malware. Granted, the Windows XP Firewall was disabled, too, but it's wild to think how vulnerable XP was/is to attacks.

All you need to do is go online with Windows XP, and you're open to all manner of malware, Trojans, new admin accounts being created, and even an FTP server starting, which all happens here.

Continue reading: Windows XP machine connected to the internet in 2024 becomes compromised in minutes (full post)

Microsoft nudges closer to releasing new AI features for Windows 11

Jak Connor | May 17, 2024 10:10 AM CDT

Behind the scenes, Microsoft is working on rolling out a slew of new artificial intelligence-powered features for Windows 11 users, and now the company has implemented a dedicated section within the Settings menu for "AI components".

Microsoft nudges closer to releasing new AI features for Windows 11

The new addition to the Settings menu was discovered in Windows 11 Build 26217, and isn't officially mentioned by Microsoft within its official blog post for the build. Notably, the new feature is available to developers and testers in the Canary alpha channel, and at the moment it's up for interpretation on what this new feature will do. Presumably, it will track all of the updates for coming AI features such as AI Explorer and Copilot, which was recently rolled out to Windows 11 users' taskbars.

There is also the possibility that "AI component updates" will not only be for AI-powered apps or features but also for hardware dedicated to running AI-based operations locally. Reports indicate Microsoft is preparing for its upcoming Build Developer conference later this year, which is associated with the company encouraging developers to take advantage of Windows and build their own AI features.

Continue reading: Microsoft nudges closer to releasing new AI features for Windows 11 (full post)

Does a Windows 11 PC need 'repairing' if you don't use Bing search? Microsoft seems to think so

Darren Allan | May 16, 2024 2:30 PM CDT

Microsoft has made a rather odd move in trying to promote Bing search in Windows 11 with a change to its PC Manager app.

Does a Windows 11 PC need 'repairing' if you don't use Bing search? Microsoft seems to think so

If you're not familiar with PC Manager, well, we wouldn't be surprised, as it's not an app that all that many folks know about - partly because it's only available in certain regions for Windows 11 (and not the US, not officially yet - but that could well change).

At any rate, it's a PC performance boosting utility from Microsoft China, that takes a typical approach with file cleanup features to free up storage, memory, and so forth.

Continue reading: Does a Windows 11 PC need 'repairing' if you don't use Bing search? Microsoft seems to think so (full post)

Mozilla Firefox now supports RTX Video Super Resolution and RTX Video HDR

Kosta Andreadis | May 16, 2024 1:32 AM CDT

Mozilla Firefox is a popular open-source browser that is one of the few non-Chromium-based options out there. It's the latest to incorporate support for NVIDIA RTX Video technology, which uses GeForce RTX hardware to improve video streaming quality and performance.

Mozilla Firefox now supports RTX Video Super Resolution and RTX Video HDR

RTX Video covers two key technologies: RTX Video Super Resolution and RTX Video HDR. The former is like DLSS for YouTube; it taps into NVIDIA's powerful AI-based Tensor hardware to make low-resolution video look cleaner, crisper, and more detailed while also minimizing and even eliminating compression artifacts. It's tailor-made for video streaming applications and services like YouTube, Prime Video, and Disney+ - while also being beneficial for those with spotty connections.

RTX Video HDR adds another layer by converting SDR video content to HDR with excellent results that improve color vibrancy and detail. NVIDIA notes that 90% of all videos online are 1080p or lower and in SDR, which makes the RTX Video technology suite a way for GeForce RTX owners to remaster and upscale the video content they watch.

Continue reading: Mozilla Firefox now supports RTX Video Super Resolution and RTX Video HDR (full post)

It's official: Latest Windows 11 update introduces Start menu ads in the form of promoted apps

Darren Allan | May 15, 2024 3:26 PM CDT

Windows 11 just got its latest cumulative update and there's some good and bad news here - the latter being the fact that adverts are officially debuting in the Start menu.

It's official: Latest Windows 11 update introduces Start menu ads in the form of promoted apps

If you've been following the story of adverts creeping into Windows 11, you might have noticed that with last month's preview (optional) update, a new form of promotion appeared in the Start menu - suggested Microsoft Store apps picked from certain developers.

Windows Latest observes that this is now rolling out to all Windows 11 users with the latest patch released yesterday (KB5037771).

Continue reading: It's official: Latest Windows 11 update introduces Start menu ads in the form of promoted apps (full post)

Windows 10 support expected to end with AMD's next-generation CPUs

Jak Connor | May 15, 2024 3:31 AM CDT

Microsoft's most-popular operating system, Windows 10, will lose support for new drivers on AMD's next-generation CPU platform, according to reports.

Windows 10 support expected to end with AMD's next-generation CPUs

Windows 10 is by far Microsoft's most popular operating system, with the company actively thinking up new ways to push users onto Windows 11 following the announcement it was ending support for the operating system in October 2025. Now, a new report from TechSpot citing a Weibo post from someone who claims to be Lenovo's China manager, AMD won't provide Windows 10 drivers for its Zen 5 CPUs, specifically starting with its Zen 5 Strix Point APUs.

Why would AMD choose to go down this route? It may not have anything to do with Microsoft directly but with the emergence and now importance of AI-based capabilities. The report states AMD is - like many other big tech companies - shifting its focus to AI performance, which is paramount for Zen 5 to be successful. Unfortunately, AI-based capabilities aren't likely to be coming to an old operating system such as Windows 10, especially when it will be hitting its end-of-support phase next year.

Continue reading: Windows 10 support expected to end with AMD's next-generation CPUs (full post)

Microsoft Edge is getting new AI powers that'll let you customize your browser

Darren Allan | May 14, 2024 2:00 PM CDT

Microsoft is ushering in fresh AI capabilities for its Edge browser, and this new work pertains to customizing the app.

Microsoft Edge is getting new AI powers that'll let you customize your browser

Windows Latest was keen-eyed enough to spot that an incoming feature called the 'AI theme generator' for Edge is part of a Microsoft 365 roadmap.

It'll work pretty much as you'd expect: you tell the AI what kind of theme you want via a simple text prompt, and it'll knock up some concepts along those lines that you can peruse.

Continue reading: Microsoft Edge is getting new AI powers that'll let you customize your browser (full post)

Microsoft to face Homeland Security over a cascade of security failings

Jak Connor | May 13, 2024 2:34 AM CDT

Microsoft has previously confirmed that it has been breached by hackers from both China and Russia, and now the US government wants to talk about it.

Microsoft to face Homeland Security over a cascade of security failings

The House Committee on Homeland Security has selected Microsoft's vice chair and president, Brad Smith, to attend a hearing called "A Cascade of Security Failures: Assessing Microsoft Corporation's Cybersecurity Shortfalls and the Implications for Homeland Security." For those that don't know, Microsoft has recently been put under the microscope by security researchers and the US government following a slew of security breaches.

Prominent incidents that likely caught the attention of Homeland Security were the attack on Microsoft Exchange in June 2023 that resulted in senior US government officials having their emails compromised - approximately 60,000, and the January 2024 attack by Midnight Blizzard. The latter of the two was traced back to Russia, and the breach resulted in Midnight Blizzard breaking into the email accounts of Microsoft executives and stealing messages and files from the leadership team.

Continue reading: Microsoft to face Homeland Security over a cascade of security failings (full post)

Microsoft officially bakes in another advertisement into Windows 11

Jak Connor | May 13, 2024 1:04 AM CDT

It was only a few weeks ago that Microsoft continued with its plan to roll out a controversial Windows 11 update that implemented new advertisements into Windows 11, and now users have spotted yet another additional promotion now baked into Windows.

Microsoft officially bakes in another advertisement into Windows 11

The new advertisement from a few weeks ago was implementing a "Recommended" section within Windows 11's Start menu. This new section first began testing within Microsoft's Insider program and according to Microsoft the recommendations within the section will be for apps sourced from a "small set of curated developers" that will meet Microsoft's quality standards. Notably, users are able to switch off recommendations within the Personalization section of Windows 11.

Now, Microsoft has rolled out a new advertisement within the "Settings" option for Windows, and this advertisement is for its Game Pass subscription service. The advertisement was discovered in the latest Dev channel version 26120.470 (KB5037864). The new Game Pass promotion ties in with the company's previous statements regarding Game Pass growth on PC still being present, while it stagnating on Xbox consoles.

Continue reading: Microsoft officially bakes in another advertisement into Windows 11 (full post)